The Kachin Independence Army destroyed two government weapons transport ships on Monday, Oct. 17, according to local sources.
The two ships loaded with weapons and escorted by two military helicopters were destroyed on the Irrawaddy River before reaching Myitkyina, KIA officials in the Laiza headquarters confirmed.
All security forces on the two ships were killed and the ships were sunk, witnesses said.
The Burma Army transports its weapons and reinforcements to Kachin State mainly by ship and train.
The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) released a statement on Thursday calling for the reunification of Kachin militia groups loyal to the Burma government, and the KIA.
The KIO is fighting against joint forces of government troops and Kachin militias in some places, the statement said.
The statement warned Kachin militia groups who are fighting against the KIO, “It’s the right time for all Kachins to be united. The KIO is calling for quick action on Kachin unity”.
There are seven Kachin armed groups loyal to Naypyitaw in Kachin State and Northern Shan State.
In Kachin State, there is the Hkawnglanghpu-based Rebellion Resistance Force (RRF), led by Tanggu Dang, the Waingmaw-based Lawayang Militia Group (LMG), which transformed from the Lasang Awng Wa Peace Group, led by Col. Lasang Awng Wa, and the Pangwa-based Border Guard Force (BGF), which transformed from the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K), led by Zahkung Ting Ying.
In Northern Shan State (formerly known as Kachin Sub-state in Shan State), there is the Kutkai-based Kutkai Militia Group, led by Hkun Myat, the Hpawng Seng-based Militia Group led by Lau Yawng, the Mungpaw-based Militia Group led by brothers Du Mon and Du Kying Mai, and the Kawnghka-based Militia Group, transformed from the Kachin Defense Army (KDA), led by Mahtu Naw.
Of them, the Lasang Awng Wa Peace Group, NDA-K and KDA are splitter groups from the KIO.
According to militia sources, the Burma Army is using their troops in its the large-scale offensive against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the armed wing of the KIO, in Kachin State and Shan State, since the start of the civil war on June 9. kng news
20 October 2011: Grave concern has been raised over five Karenni villagers who were arrested in Daw Tanaw village in Prusoe Township, Karenni State by Burma Army soldiers last Tuesday.
Major Thant Tin Soe and his soldiers from Infantry Battalion No. 250 raided the village, arresting the headman Ngah Reh, Thoe Reh, Lureh, Kyaw Win and Mi Reh following a 10-minute gunfight against the Karenni guerrilla forces.
Speaking to Chinland Guardian, UK-based Karenni leader Rimond Htoo said the arrested locals are still detained at a village called Htee Po K’lo in the military base of Burma Army.
“Thein Sein’s government is talking about peace but on the other side, has increased the number of troops in the ethnic areas and seize more land for their presence from the local people. They make war, attacking the villagers. How can we understand the government in terms of peace?”
The soldiers ransacked the houses and seized the villagers’ valuable belongings including rings, earrings as well as food stuffs, according to the locals.
On another occasion early this month, a group of Karenni medics providing medical aid to the locals were attacked by Burma Army soldiers, who then seized two sacks of medicine and one rifle left by the team.
No casualties were reported from the military attacks in Karenni State.
Meanwhile, the military offensive by Thein Sein’s administration against the Kachin Independence Army has intensified in recent days, internally displacing more than an estimated 30,000 people in Kachin State. http://www.chinlandguardian.com/news-2009/1599-fears-for-arrested-karenni-villagers.html
Karenni Refugee Camp 1, about a one hour drive from Mae Hong Son City, in northwestern Thailand, is my home. I have lived there among 15,000 of my people for nearly 10 years, after being born in Camp 3, which was an hour’s walk away.
I have been away from the camp for 2 months. When I return I will have to sneak back in, avoiding the armed guard at the main checkpoint, because I had to sneak out when I left. Karenni refugees cannot get permission to leave the camp from the Thai border guards whose job is herd us like 15,000 head of cattle inside the confines of the camp, about 3 square kilometers.
I am grateful to have a place to live in Thailand, however, my home feels like a prison, cut off from the rest of the world.
As human beings, we should have the right to live in our own village inside our homeland, with full recognition of our citizenship and protection of our basic human rights.
Instead, the military-controlled government of Burma has driven us off our land as it waged a long-standing war against the Karenni insurgency, forcing upwards of 20,000 civilians to become refugees in Thailand.
My father fled to the Thai border after the 1988 revolution and was joined by my mother and their three children in 1991. My younger brother and I were born inside the Thai border. So, we have no Burmese birth certificate and are not recognized as citizens of any country, only as official refugees by the UN.
Even though the Thai Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) provides food rations to refugees including rice, cooking oil, salt, sugar, chilli, yellow beans and mixed grains, camp residents worry their children are suffering from malnutrition because of a lack of dairy foods, meat and fish. As a result camp social workers say the IQ of refugee children is lower than that of Thai children living nearby.
The food ration is appreciated; however, refugees say they need to work to supplement their diets but are prevented by restrictions on movement placed on them by Thai authorities.
So, some families raise chicken or pigs to improve their diet and earn money. Some families leave the camp illegally to forage for eatable plants in the nearby jungle because they cannot afford to buy food in shops.
During the planting season camp residents work as daily wage workers in paddy fields in nearby Ban Nai Soi Village, where they can earn 50-100 baht per day.
Others open small shops inside the camp selling linen or groceries.
A small number of educated refugees work for NGO and CBOs in the camp. Continue reading “Painful Past and a Future Without Hope-Karenni Refugee”
BANGKOK, Oct 13, 2011 (IPS) – On the face of it, the sudden release of political prisoners in Burma would appear a triumph for the sanctions regime imposed on the Southeast Asian nation by Western governments.
The United States and European Union, which led the punitive economic measures, regarded the release of political prisoners in Burma, also known as Myanmar, as a benchmark of change after decades of repression under successive military juntas.
“We have made it clear (we want) to see progress on prisoner releases,” Kurt Campbell, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told an audience in Bangkok on Monday. “It is too early and too soon to make a final judgment on the change (inside Burma) and too soon to dismiss them.”
On Oct. 12, two days after Campbell delivered those remarks in a public address on U.S. foreign policy in Asia, over 200 of the nearly 2,000 prisoners of conscience were freed.
Among the first to walk out of jail was Ko Thura, better known as Zarganar, a comedian and frequent critic of the government, who was condemned to 35 years in jail. Su Su Nway, an equally famous labour rights activist and government critic, was also granted amnesty, ending a 12-year sentence.
This followed an announcement by President Thein Sein, stating that 6,359 prisoners will be freed and a rare, open letter to the state-controlled press by Win Mya, head of the newly appointed National Human Rights Commission, calling for “prisoners of conscience” to be released.
Other gestures of openness have been unveiled since Thein Sein, a former general, began his term in late March, ending nearly 50 years of military rule. The notorious Press Censorship and Registration Division has permitted dissident voices to air their views in the local media.
Such nods towards political reform have brought to relief the role that sanctions have played. Is Burma under Thein Sein changing because the sanctions imposed by the U.S. government and the governments in Europe, Australia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have worked?
“The historic reforms underway are happening in spite of the sanctions, not because of them,” Thant Myint-U, a Burmese historian and author of a new book, ‘Where China Meets India – Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia’, told IPS. Continue reading “Western Sanctions Look Fussy in Burma Analysis By Marwaan Macan-Markar”
|Tuesday, 18 October 2011 00:00|
|(127) Burmese migrants’ garment factory workers from Bangkok, Thailand received (2.9) millions Baht for their allowance yesterday (14/10/2011).
On 12, October, Mr. Win Naing, migrant representative from factor contacted to Burmese Association of Thailand (BAT). He informed about problems in the factory and he requested to provide legal assistance.
BAT, tried to collaborate with two Thai NGOs and recently founded by the Burmese embassy in Thailand called “Protection Committee for Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand”. BAT paid a visit to the factory and analyzed the situation. BAT noted that Employer warned migrants that they would be dismissed if they still refused to work. BAT consulted with Thai legal Aid NGOs and requested migrants to work. While also trying to provide legal assistance.
Migrant representative Mr. Win Naing said that “we were so concerned when Thai government announced emergency flooding in Thailand. We did not have any single money and we did not have money for food and transportation. Some migrants also have been asked by their parents and relatives to come back home (Burma). When employers refused to pay the September allowance, we requested that BAT provide legal assistance. Eventually employers complied to pay half of our allowance for September yesterday and it was fifteen thousand Baht each. We do appreciate people and the organizations that have generously provided legal assistance to us.”
A migrant from a garment factory said that they did not be receive the rest of September’s allowance on 27 October. The factory took a month allowance as deposit. About (70) migrant workers went back to Burma as temporarily after they received the allowance on 16, October.
Mr. Kyaw Thang, in charge of BAT stated that “we consulted with migrants and e-mailed to two Thai NOGs. At that same time, we informed to the Protection Committee for Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand, which is organized by Burmese embassy in Bangkok, Thailand. Additionally we welcomed the Myanmar government that planned to provide assistance to Burmese migrants in Thailand. It is very encouraging to us.”
Six migrants allowance had been reduced as the reason was during to the damage of the clothes and also migrants are still facing labor rights violations in factories.
The Protection Committee for Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand has been established at the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, Thailand led by deputy labor minister of Myanmar and Myanmar ambassador in Thailand. The press conference had been attended by International NOGs, Thai NGOs and BAT.
Spoke person from Protection Committee for Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand said that the case is a success due to collaboration and zeal of working together between BAT and Protection Committee for Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand. http://www.ghre.org/mm/
A high profile Perth businessman who has investment links to a company owned by Burma’s military regime is facing calls to withdraw his company from the troubled nation.
William (Bill) Clough’s oil and gas exploration company Twinza Oil is thought to have invested up to $40 million in its Burmese operations, the largest single investment from an Australian company, according to academics.
Advocacy group Burma Campaign Australia and Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam have called for Twinza Oil to liquidate its assets and withdraw from Burma immediately amid fresh reports of ethnic border killings instigated by the Burmese military regime.
“Australian companies must abandon trade deals with Burma’s military,” Senator Ludlam said.
The senator said hefty oil and gas revenues from companies such as Twinza helped fund the Burmese military regime.
“The Burmese government are keeping those troops equipped, fed and in the field with oil and gas revenues,” he said.
“It’s got to stop.”
Burma Campaign Australia and Senator Ludlam have appealed to Mr Clough, who is also a director and shareholder of publicly-listed company Mirabela Nickel, to cease the Burma operations.
Twinza had been operating in Burma since November 2006, when it signed a joint venture contract with state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise to explore for oil and gas, according to articles in Burmese publication the Myanmar Times and Australian Embassy cables revealed by Wikileaks. Continue reading “TWINZA OIL FACES CALL TO LEAVE BURMA”